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Singletary's Notebook: Oct. 30


Opening statements:
"It was a good week of practice. I think we accomplished the things we needed to get accomplished this week. We are trying to be very detailed about what we have to do, being on the road, going to Indy, dealing with the crowd noise, dealing with the hostile environment, all those things, a first-time quarterback starting. There were a lot of things we had to address early in the week and work through those things and we are ready to go."

On LB Takeo Spikes' availability for Sunday:
"At this point, I think Takeo will be fine. But, it will be a game-time decision."

On whether Spikes will play much if the team spends a lot of time in a nickel defense:
"No, but at the same time, once again, it depends on what kind of game it is and how he is feeling. But, it is a game-time decision."

On how Spikes looked in practice today:
"Not bad. Not bad."

On how playing indoors affects the team:
"I just think the awareness of it. When we go from Arizona, a hostile environment, to Minnesota, which was just way off the charts, and here we are again this week, at another very loud place. I just think the most important thing is we just have to go in and prepare ourselves the best we can and deal with it as it comes. We just have to execute, that is all."

On who will be the return men:
"It depends. [CB] Nate [Clements] could possibly do some, [WR Brandon] Jones could probably do some. [WR] Arnaz [Battle] could possibly do some. We will figure it out."

On whether those are punt returners:

On who will return kickoffs:
"You have [RB] Mike [Robinson] and [TE] Delanie [Walker]. So, I think that is a good situation."

On whether the 49ers cornerbacks match up well with the Colts receivers:
"I think so. I think we have to be very careful this week in trying to use all the wisdom we can in matchups. We are just trying to really look at who is better with this receiver based on what that receiver does and trying to put players in a position to win."

On whether playing Houston last week, a team that relies heavily on the play-action pass, was good preparation for the Colts:
"No, I don't think so. They are two different teams, two different quarterbacks. No, you learn, from one week from the next, something from that team that you take forward, but in terms in taking something from Houston, no, not a whole lot."

On what he liked and disliked about QB Alex Smith's performance against Houston:
"First of all, Alex coming off the bench, he didn't have time to think about it, didn't have time to adjust to it. There were no mind games, nothing like that. It was just, 'Hey, you're in. Let's go. Let's go.' So he went out and executed and did the things he had to do. I think for him, it will be interesting how he approaches this game. I think he will approach it much the same. I think with the things he needed to do, it was very important for us as a staff to  make sure we got him everything he needed so there was nothing on the table where he felt, 'Well I didn't get this, I needed that.' That is a very good feeling. I just check with him every day, 'How's it coming? Did you get what you need?' [Offensive coordinator] Jimmy Raye and [quarterbacks coach] Mike Johnson have done an excellent job all week preparing him and getting him ready to go."

On whether Smith is prepared for short-yardage, red zone and two-minute situations:
"Yes sir, he's good."

On how Smith's presence in the lineup affects the running game:
"You know as well as I do that the run game, if you can run the ball, then that helps the pass, it helps the play action, just like any other team and vice-versa. I think it's really important for Alex just to continue to take another step. It's a great opportunity for him. I know he's hungry and anticipating that, and it's going to be a tremendous challenge for our offensive line, dealing with the pass rush of Indy. I think we have to do a good job of really having a balanced attack and making sure that we're executing."

On whether T Tony Pashos' background at Jacksonville has helped prepare for the Colts defense:
"I think the thing about Indianapolis is, in all honesty, what you see is what you get. It's not like you've got to sit down and, 'Now, when do they do this? When do they do that?' They're a very straight-forward team. They're going to get your quarterback. They're going to play fast. They're going to come downhill. They've got smaller personnel than most teams that you're going to face. But, those guys are extremely quick and they communicate well, and they're on the same page."

On whether CB Tarell Brown has been pushing for a larger role in the nickel defense:
"I think for Tarell Brown, it's just something all the way from training camp, just trying to get him back in the mix and trying to get him on the field more to play more. It was just a shame, kind of like [WR] Brandon Jones when Brandon got hurt. They were both doing a great job making strides and had a setback. I think Tarell Brown has worked himself in a situation to try and get more playing time. So, it's just something that we have to monitor as coaches and really try and put him in the best position to win."

On whether Jones has elevated himself to the fourth receiver:
"[WR] Arnaz [Battle]. Arnaz is still the fourth guy. I would say this: Those five guys that are up, we have confidence in them, and I expect Brandon Jones just to continue to get better and he's working his tail off and getting back in sync, the confidence in his routes and everything else. Whether he's fourth or third or whatever it is, I expect him to continue to get better."

On Jones' frustration with being inactive:
"I don't really think I had to do anything that's uncommon to a guy when he's frustrated. I could understand. If he wasn't frustrated then we'd really have a problem. But, he was guy who was just trying to figure out, 'How do I get up?' No.1. No. 2, 'How do I play?' No. 3, 'How do I get more reps so I can get out there to show you what I can do?' Those are things that you constantly go back and forth and talking with your coordinators, your position coaches and trying to figure it out. Thankfully, he's up and he'll be ready to go."

On what this game means in terms of what the team needs to accomplish:
"Well, in all honesty, just trying to answer your question, once again, I don't want to sound wrong, take it wrong - however it is. We're not going down there to compete. We're going down there to win a football game, and it's as simple as that. We're playing a good football team, a solid football team. What does that mean? It means we have an opportunity to go out and show that we're a good football team going forward, and when it's all said and done, we want to be in it. That's really it. Thank you."

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